Venice: January 1532

Calendar of State Papers Relating To English Affairs in the Archives of Venice, Volume 4, 1527-1533. Originally published by Her Majesty's Stationery Office, London, 1871.

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, 'Venice: January 1532', in Calendar of State Papers Relating To English Affairs in the Archives of Venice, Volume 4, 1527-1533, (London, 1871) pp. 311-320. British History Online [accessed 29 May 2024].

. "Venice: January 1532", in Calendar of State Papers Relating To English Affairs in the Archives of Venice, Volume 4, 1527-1533, (London, 1871) 311-320. British History Online, accessed May 29, 2024,

. "Venice: January 1532", Calendar of State Papers Relating To English Affairs in the Archives of Venice, Volume 4, 1527-1533, (London, 1871). 311-320. British History Online. Web. 29 May 2024,

January 1532

1532. Jan. 2. Sanuto Diaries, v. lv. p. 281. 714. Carlo Capello to the Signory.
Received the Signory's letters, about sending fresh galleys on the Flanders voyage, on the 24th December. On St. Stephen's Day, 26th December, spoke to the King on the subject, and was referred to the Privy Council. Was promised an answer in two days, when a Latin translation of the letter was demanded. The only persons at the Court were the Duke of Norfolk, the Earl of Wiltshire, and the Treasurer, who told his secretary that they would send for him on Saturday or Sunday next, and give an answer.
The King has been very much occupied about the affair of the divorce with the French ambassadors, who, until three days ago, were constantly at the Court. Then, on the 23rd [December], Sir Francis Bryan and Dr. Fox, the two English ambassadors in France, returned, and on the same day Dr. Benet arrived in haste from Rome.
The ambassadors who have been in France bring back the Pope's resolve, that he cannot allow the trial of the marriage (il juditio dil matrimonio) to take place in England without diminishing the apostolic authority. The French ambassadors state that the University of Paris has never opposed the authority of the Church of Rome.
After long consultations, his Majesty, on the 29th December, sent Dr. Stephen [Gardiner], Bishop of Winchester, to France, having well nigh determined to settle this matter in the Parliament here, which is summoned for the 10th of this month of January.
London, 2nd January 1532. Registered by Sanuto 6th February.
Jan. 4. Sanuto Diaries, v. lv. p. 230. 715. Carlo Capello to the Signory.
Went to the Court four days ago, with the masters of the galleys. Hironimo da Molin had presented him with a writing, addressed to the Signory in the name of the Duke of Norfolk, by commission from the King, requesting him to recommend to the Signory the affair of the carpets taken in Candia, and disposed of as contraband, which belong to Dom. Richard Leter (sic) a privy councillor.
On the 29th December received letters, dated Hampton, from the captain of the Flanders galleys, that the Empress has renewed reprisals against Venetian subjects, concerning which he has written to the ambassador Tiepolo [at Brussels].
The heretic friar was burnt alive; and, three days ago, they sentenced to death Master Ris (sic) who had been put in the Tower, as mentioned in his letter of the 3rd October; and this morning, on Tower Hill, he was beheaded in public, and one of his servants was hanged and quartered.
Dom. Marco Raphael, who is in favour with his Majesty here, wishes to be recommended to the Signory, as he has always used his good offices for their affairs.
London, 4th January 1532. Registered by Sanuto 19th Jan.
Jan. 4. Sanuto Diaries, v. lv. p. 401. 716. Pope Clement VII. to King Henry VIII.
Marco Grimani, patriarch of Aquileia, having returned lately from Jerusalem, has informed us and the Cardinals of the Holy Roman Church, that when passing through Constantinople he conferred with the son of the Doge of Venice, Luigi Gritti, who assured him that the Turk is preparing a very numerous fleet, and two very large armies, and that next spring he will make an expedition against Christendom.
Sultan Solyman in person is to lead the army, and Ibrahim Pasha the fleet, both destined for the invasion of Italy. Solyman is so linked by a new friendship with the Sophy, King of the Persians, that whilst waging this war he will have nothing to fear.
Some days later, this announcement was followed by several letters from Constantinople to the like effect. These things compel us to fear that one time or another the catastrophe will take place, as to such and so many very powerful threats and preparations on the part of the enemy we are all callous (omnes torpemus) and oppose them solely by slowness and procrastination.
We, therefore, immediately convoked before us and our brothers aforesaid, your ambassadors, and those of the other princes, and exhorted one and all to write to their respective Sovereigns, requesting them to assume some defence for the common safety. We have already wasted two years representing and admonishing in vain. The enemies of Christ are agreed to combat the Faith, and our people cannot agree to defend it; so let us place the neck under the yoke, and accept Mahomet instead of Christ.
We have offered all our treasure, forces, and authority, and will contribute them all for the preservation of the Christian people, nor will we even spare our life, provided something be effected for the Christian commonwealth. In like manner as we have done by the other princes, so do we exhort and beseech you to assume, with all your force, the general defence, and give assistance as speedily as possible. The enemy has expended two whole years in preparing himself; and we, who have been so often roused by him—at Rhodes, at Belgrade, in Hungary, and under Vienna—are still slumbering.
Remember how much your ancestors have done for the Faith of Christ, and that you have not merely succeeded to their glory and piety, but have even surpassed them, as on one occasion, sword in hand (armis), you defended the Roman Church against the schismatics, and subsequently the Catholic faith, by writings against the heretics, thus deserving the title—of all human titles the most illustrious—the Defender of the Faith.
The enemy aspires to the dominion of Europe, having united to his empire the Arabs, the Syrians, and the Egyptians. On effecting the occupation of Italy he will, like a great fire, after seizing all those provinces which are nearest, extend his grasp to the territories beyond. His first attack, wherever made, must therefore be opposed.
Though your kingdom is perfectly safe by reason of the large cities it contains, and of the sea which completely surrounds it, you will not refuse assistance to others.
We have spoken much more diffusely with your ambassadors, from whose letters and messages you will more fully understand our opinion.
Rome, 4th January 1532, ninth year of our Pontificate. Registered by Sanuto 16th March.
[Latin.] (fn. 1)
Jan. 8. Sanuto Diaries, v. lv. p. 230. 717. Carlo Capello to the Signory.
Encloses letters from the captain of the Flanders galleys, who doubts receiving the permit for the wools, and requests permission to delay the departure of the galleys until the end of January or the middle of March (per tutto zener o per mezo marzo). Has answered him that the King has promised positively, and that the departure will take place in the course of January. Since the 17th October, down to the present time, the merchants of Venice have purchased and contracted for wools, and continue doing so from day to day.
London, 8th January 1532. Registered by Sanuto 19th Jan.
Jan. 8. (fn. 2) Sanuto Diaries, v. lv. p. 318. 718. Carlo Capello to the Signory.
Went to the Court on the 5th, and the Royal Council had been sitting the whole morning, and in the afternoon of the preceding day. The Duke of Norfolk being absent on account of indisposition, the Lord Chancellor said that as the next Flanders galleys will export wool, cloths, and tin, it would be requisite to know what sort of merchandise they will import, and its amount, as also with what money the purchases are to be made; and that the Signory's merchants must export a certain amount of coloured cloths, and of fine and coarse linen. (fn. 3) Replied that the Signory would not believe this, nor detract from the privilege granted them by his Majesty for five years, telling him [Sir Thomas More] that were the galleys not to come, the King's import and export duties would diminish; as by taking the wool from the staplers [at Calais] much less duty would be paid, and the money remain there, no sales being made in London; so that if the galleys do not perform this voyage as usual, the King and the whole island will suffer great loss, as when the galleys come, the value of all merchandise in London augments from 15 to 20 per cent.
The Venetians themselves are those who, together with the staplers, endeavour to have the wools and certain other merchandise purchased at Calais; so he told the Chancellor that these persons must not be credited. The Chancellor replied, that the King chose the wools to be purchased of the staplers, when the supply is such as at present. Having said this, the Chancellor and the Earl of Wiltshire went to the King's apartment, and after remaining some while came forth, saying they had not found him, but would acquaint his Majesty with the whole.
On receiving the Signory's letters of the 19th December, went to the King and communicated the advices from Constantinople, which pleased his Majesty greatly; and he returned thanks, and requested the Signory to continue sending them. When he commenced speaking about the galleys, his Majesty said that on the preceding day he had sat in Council and must do so again, and that on Saturday or Sunday he (Capello) was to go to Westminster, where his Majesty would be (he being then at Greenwich), and would give him an answer.
On the 3rd, letters arrived in baste from Rome. It seems that the Pope is content that all persons may state their opinion about the divorce, provided they do not bestir themselves for reward. It is supposed that the affair will be settled in the session of Parliament which is to commence in a few days. (fn. 4) The Bishop of Winchester will use his endeavours with the most Christian King, for him to have the like done in Paris, and then they hope to obtain the Pope's approval.
Advice has been received here from Flanders that half the fleet of King Christian of Denmark has been wrecked, he himself having got to a place where nothing but ill can befall him, as the city of Lubeck, together with the reigning King of Denmark [Frederick I.], and other potentates (signori) were fitting out a powerful fleet against him.
Sends letters from the captain of the Flanders galleys.
London, 8th January 1532. Registered by Sanuto 19th Feb.
Jan. 9. Senato Terra, v. xxvi. p. 232. 719. Power drawn up at Southampton by Zuan Battista Grimani, Master of one of the Flanders galleys.
Authorises Zuan Morelli, his agent at Venice, to sell his stock in the “8 per Cent. Reduced” Government securities, and to remit the proceeds to him to England.
Document attested by Lodovico Michiel and Allesandro Contarini, because the captain of the Flanders galleys, being Grimani's enemy, would not allow his chaplain [which office on board the galleys combined that of notary public] to legalise it; nor could Grimani employ the Venetian consul at Southampton—a Geonese, by name Nicolin da Conta—as he was absent; whilst he, Grimani, being at Southampton, could not apply to Hironimo Molin, the Venetian consul in London.
Jan. 12. Sanuto Diaries, v. lv. p. 206. 720. Prothonotary Casal.
The English ambassador came into the College, requesting the Signory to allow a doctor, now lecturing in jure at the University of Padua, to go to Rome, at the cost of his King, about the divorce case, as doctors will also be taken from other universities. He was answered that the Signory must consult and answer him with the Senate.
Jan. 15. Sanuto Diaries, v. lv. p. 242. 721. Letter from Rome, addressed to the Duke of Mantua.
Last Friday Consistory was held for the divorce case of England, which however (per altro) is expected to create some great turmoil, as the English, perceiving that the sentence is going against them, will not await its publication, but protest and withdraw their obedience to the Church—their wish to do so having been long manifest. A personage, called by them the “Excusator,” has come here, and they say he is sent by the people to excuse the King, should he not appear in person as he had offered to do, because they are the cause, not choosing the King to quit the realm for such purpose; and they would wish to have the case removed to England. Today, likewise, Consistory assembled for this same purpose, and there was much debate. The English say they have licence from the College of Cardinals and the Pope to seek advocates to their satisfaction throughout Italy. The Cardinals deny having given this licence, and have conceded them a prorogation during the whole of the present month, wherein to prove what they wish and can; and including the holidays of the law courts and the festivals, some twenty days will elapse, during which interval the ambassador [Dr. Benet ?], who went to England some months ago, may possibly return, and will perhaps announce the King's will, which might be of such a sort as to make matters take a better turn than is believed.
Rome, 15th January 1532. Registered by Sanuto 26th Jan.
Jan. 17. Sanuto Diaries, v. lv. p. 319. 722. Zuam Antonio Venier to the Signory.
The Bishop of Winchester has arrived here from England in the name of the King, about the divorce.
Dieppe, 17th January 1532. Registered by Sanuto 19th Feb.
Jan. 22. Sanuto Diaries, v. lv. p. 242. 723. Marco Antonio Venier, Venetian Ambassador at Rome, to the Signory.
The Pope told him, concerning the marriage of the “Duchesina” [Catherine de' Medici] to the Duke of Orleans, that the King would fain have it solemnized, but his Holiness chooses to wait until it can be consummated, as the Duke might subsequently say no; and that the Emperor approves the marriage. The Pope said he had received letters from his most Christian Majesty about the English divorce case in favour of the King, which disturbed his Holiness; who announced in consistory that the English ambassadors wish to delay the term, that there may be time for the arrival at Rome of that Dr. Benet, who was there heretofore. The Pope's secretary, Sanga, says negotiations are on foot for marrying the “Duchesina” [Catherine de' Medici] to the Duke of Milan, or to the son of the Duke of Urbino, for which purpose the ambassador from Urbino is gone to Pesaro to speak about the business. Secretary Sanga has sent him a memorandum, which he encloses, to the effect that as the English wish for a doctor of the University of Padua to come to Rome about the divorce case, the Pope is content that one should be sent.
Rome, 22nd January 1532. Registered by Sanuto 26th Jan.
Jan. 27. Sanuto Diaries, v. lv. p. 246. 724. Reported Marriage of Henry VIII. and Anne Boleyn.
This morning it was said there were letters from London, dated January, stating that the King had taken to wife (havea sposà per mojer) his favourite, Madame Anne (la Signora Ana), although at Rome the divorce case was not despatched; and that he had caused one of the chief personages in England, by name—, to be beheaded in his palace for having uttered certain words in favour of the Queen. This report was subsequently known to be false.
Registered by Sanuto 27th January.
Jan. 29. Sanuto Diaries, v. lv. p. 400. 725. Filippo Basadona, Captain of the Flanders Galleys, to Carlo Capello.
The galley oarsmen refused to receive the two rates of pay, according to custom, and as ordered by the Signory's letters. When it was determined to load the galleys, the crews refused to go on board; so the masters complained. Having given the men their bread down to the 27th January, at the request of the masters, I issued a proclamation, desiring them within two days to receive their two rates of pay, with their colours flying as customary, because they were no longer to have bread. Went on that morning to St. Mary's in Tegusso (sic) (fn. 5) in Our Lady's church; the galley-crews attacked me in great number, under three or four ringleaders, and with great threats accompanied me even to the door of my house, winch they would not have allowed me to enter, had not my admiral, sailing-master (comito) and their comrades made opposition. The mutineers even took up stones, and with difficulty I saved myself.
My defenders then made a proclamation, desiring the mutineers to depart from the neighbourhood of my dwelling. I know not to whom to have recourse, unless it be the King, that he may order these four or five, whom I will mention, to be put to death, for the honour of the Signory. Understood that they intended to sack the houses of the masters, and threatened the nobility. The mutineers are encouraged by the inhabitants of Hampton, who arc their creditors.
Hampton, 29th January. Registered by Sanuto 16th March.
Jan. 30. Sanuto Diaries, v. lv. p. 331. 726. Carlo Capello to the Signory.
Returned to the Royal Council for reply about the confirmation of the privilege, so that the galleys may come. The Duke of Norfolk read an order, signed by the King, that for the present year, no other galleys are to be sent, as there is no wool; and said the writing would be forwarded for presentation to the Signory by the English ambassador.
On the 26th he went to the King, who said, “It is well to take the wools from the Staplers.”
Has heard on good authority that the reason why the galleys are not to be sent is, that by letters from Rome, dated the 5th January, the Pope informed the King that the Signory forbad any doctor to come from the University of Padua to state the King's rights in the divorce case. Details conversations held with the Duke of Norfolk, who said the Signory was most ungrateful, and does not know her friends, but may perhaps soon repent; with other words hinc inde dictis as in the letter. Apologized for the Signory, but the King complains greatly of this.
Parliament met on the 16th, and sat again on the 19th, but the King is going to Greenwich, where jousts are being prepared. Nothing further is to be done about the marriage [query, divorce].
The Bishop of Winchester has not yet returned from France. The proposed marriage of the Duke of Orleans, the most Christian King's second son, to the Princess of England, is in negotiation; but King Francis wishes the divorce case to be settled first, lest the world should declare his son had married a bastard.
The Parliament has assembled about a request made by the King for two millions of ducats. Dorn. Gioan Gioachino, the French ambassador, has departed for France. Monsieur de Pomeraye will remain as the representative of his most Christian Majesty. A league is negotiating between King John [Zapolski] of Hungary, the King of Poland, the King of Russia, the Grand Master of Prussia, the Duke of Saxony, the Duke of Bavaria, and other Princes of Germany, together with the most Christian King and the King of England, all against the Emperor. They are to give 500,000 ducats to King John not to make terms with the King of the Romans, as they do not choose him to be King of the Romans; and it is certain that the King of France sent 30,000 ducats to King John, who has also received 17,000 from the King of England; and his Majesty is sending Dr. Clement (sic) to the Emperor to protest, and they say that he will likewise send an ambassador to the Signory.
The King will recommend to the Signory Marco Raphael, who in these negotiations about the galleys has greatly favoured the interests of the State.
Has heard that the marriage of the Duke of Orleans to the Princess of England is concluded. The King of England gives him as dower (per dota) the money due to him [the King] from his most Christian Majesty, and a certain sum besides. The Bishop of Winchester is expected here from France daily. Doctor Clement departed yesterday on his way to the Emperor.
London, 30th January 1532. Registered by Sanuto 22nd Feb.
Jan. 30. Sanuto Diaries, v. lv. pp. 331, 332. 727. Filippo Basadona, Captain of the Flanders Galleys, to the Signory.
Giulio Bragadin, late master of a galley, has absconded, leaving his vessel under no command, and it is suspected that Zuan Battista Grimani will do the like, as these two have money for the despatch of their galleys. For this reason, assembled “the Council of Twelve,” in order to send a foot-post to Venice with the intelligence. Grimani refused to be present at the ballotation, saying he had no money for the despatch of the foot-post; and it was agreed for the masters to pay one half and the factors the other.
Does not know how to act. By selling the freights at 50 per cent. loss, the amount would be 2,000 ducats; and 4,090 are required for the despatch, of each galley. The crews cannot obtain their two rates of pay, as there is no money. The bakers have exacted his personal security for what is due to them from the crews. The wools are ready for shipment, but somewhat damp: the merchants purpose having them dried.
Suspects that the creditors will seize the guns of the galleys.
Hampton, 30th January 1532. Registered by Sanuto 22nd Feb.
Jan. 30. Sanuto Diaries, v. lv. pp. 331, 332. 728. Hironimo Molin, Venetian Consul in London, to the Signory.
The galleys are in danger of being unable to depart, to the shame of the Venetian nation. The master, Giulio Bragadin, has absconded, and provision must be made.
London, 30th January. Registered by Sanuto 22nd February.
Jan. 30. Sanuto Diaries, v. lv. pp. 331, 332. 729. Zuan Battista Grimani, Master of a galley, to the Signory.
Complains of the captain [Basadona]; he [Grimani] is poor, and the captain has utterly ruined him; he will not allow the crews to take their pay at the rate of 40 pence per ducat, as has always been done, because he himself would be in the same condition. Grimani will not abscond, but come to Venice with his galley, and has written to his factor, Zuan Morelli, to do everything to send him money. He ruined himself by giving to his crew one-third more of biscuit per month than was given by the other galleys, so that he spent an additional — ducats. His nobleman, . . . . Antonio Gritti, also opposed him, saying he would appoint a vice-master in his stead, and with seven others withdrew from his mess. All the others remained.
Hampton, 30th January. Registered by Sanuto 22nd February.
Jan. 30. Senato Terra, v. xxvi. p. 232. 730. Zuan Battista Grimani to Zuan Morelli.
As the late Marco Bragadin had not provided funds, Giulio was compelled to go to Venice. Imagine my position if you do not supply me by the courier, sent express to the Signory, who was to perform the journey to and fro in 30 days! If you have not provided to the amount of 5,000 ducats, and are unable to procure it in letters of credit, endeavour to get it on bills, giving such security as is in your power, either by means of credit [due to me?], or Government securities, or on freights to be brought by us; and as said freights are not yet brought or gained, insure the galley, and with the policy of insurance in your hand, you will find bills, which must be sent to England and returned, and be paid at Venice, requiring a period of six months, namely three for conveyance to England, and three for the return, as I have not the means of paying here. Having procured this money on [accommodation ?] bills, you must then purchase bills of exchange from “good” men (persone da cerchio), and have them made payable to me in England at sight. As I have no experience of hill-broking, and you still less, you will consult the magnifico Messer Alexandro Contarini, and should he know nothing about it, take counsel from “good” merchants (mercadanti da cerchio). (fn. 6) If unable to raise the money by these means, try and get goods, payable at the longest term possible, and sell them again; but bear well in mind that I do not wish the loss to exceed the profit, for here we have gained 20 per cent., by paying the crews at the exchange of 40 English pence per ducat; (fn. 7) and I would fain make an advantageous bargain. See to giving them every possible security, and remit the whole to me here, as my profit depends upon the amount of the remittances. You will now be able to make amends for omissions, and it depends upon you to give me life or death—each ducat supplied by you will yield me two. On seeing my letter, the Signory will give me some assistance, and most especially my arrears due from the “Chamber;” and if unable to obtain further security from Bembo, cancel those given by him, he doing the like by you.
Hampton, 30th January 1532.
Attestation by Alexandro Contarini and Lodovico Michiel, that the foregoing letter was in the handwriting of Zuan Battista Grimani, master of a Flanders galley.
Jan. 30. Sanuto Diaries, v. iv. p. 257. 731. Prothonotary Casal.
The English ambassador came into the College, to request that a doctor of Padua might be allowed to go to Rome, to treat the divorce from the Queen. He was told that the matter should be deliberated in the Senate.


  • 1. The original is very long-winded and diffuse, and is more than double the length of the above abstract.
  • 2. In the original diaries, Sanuto has written “February” but the contents of Capello's next letter show that it is a mistake for January.
  • 3. Di panni coloradi e telarie sottil et grosse. The Venetians bought white cloths in England and dyed them in Venice. It is said that linen was first manufactured in England by Flemish weavers in 1253. In Taxi's list of merchandise exported by the Venetians from England, there is no mention of linen, and therefore I omitted it in the preface to the first volume of the Venetian Calendar, but “telarie” can only be translated. by “linen.”
  • 4. Parliament assembled on the 15th January 1532. (See Hume, vol. iii. p. 171.)
  • 5. Query North Stoneham Church. (See preface to vol. i. Venetian Calendar, p. lxiv.)
  • 6. The word “cerchio” has several meanings, one of which is the iron hoop of a barrel, so perhaps the phrase signified “sound” or “good,” as a well-hooped butt. “Safe as in an iron butt” is a phrase still used at Venice to denote security.
  • 7. By the list of exchanges in vol. ii. Venetian Calendar, pp. lxxiii., lxxiv., it is seen that the highest price given in London for Venetian ducats was 52¾d.